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Posts Tagged ‘pat bean’

 

Telling me I can't do something is almost like telling Niagara Falls to stop flowing. Are you a bit like that, too. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Telling me I can’t do something is almost like telling Niagara Falls to stop flowing. Are you a bit like that, too. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Being stubborn can be a good thing. Being stubborn can be a bad thing. It just depends on how you use it.” – Willie Aames.

Fighting Words

I keep a to-do list that I update daily, but I tell myself the things on the list are simply suggestions for how I can spend my day. I also put more tasks on the to-do list than  I can possible accomplish in a day. That’s because I like choices – and the satisfaction I get each time I cross off, with a big black pen, a completed chore.

But the minute I feel I have to do something, pretty much guarantees it is not likely to get done. I turn into a stubborn mule that won’t budge.

On the other hand, tell me I can’t do something, and hell would have to freeze over before I wouldn’t do it. .

I know I’m not alone in this kind of weird behavior. For example, just yesterday, when my next door neighbor and her teenage daughter were visiting, the subject of to-do lists came up.

The daughter laughed, and said that putting something down on her mom’s list made it the one thing she absolutely wouldn’t do.

Mom shook her head, but then said, “She’s right.”

It makes me wonder who hot-wired our brains?  Why is it that when someone tells me  “No,” I immediately think “Yes?”  Why is it that when someone tells me “You can’t,” I do it?  Or when they say I “have to,” I don’t?

I just know that “no,” “can’t” and “have to” are fighting words in my world (more…)

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Art and Thoughts

           “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso

Chickens and Flowers

            I pretty much gave up painting for the nine years I lived in an RV. Just not enough room to piddle around with it the way I do. I’m trying to get back to doing it these days, Just for the fun of it.

And sharing is part of the fun. I know it’s not great art, but doing it cheers my soul and satisfies my creative side.

 

These hens remind me of the ones that ran around my grandmother's backyard, and eventually ended up on the Sunday dinner table.

These hens remind me of the ones that ran around my grandmother’s backyard, and eventually ended up on the Sunday dinner table.

 

            “If you know sometin’ well, you can always paint it, but people would be better off buyin’ chickens” – Grandma Moses 

Not exactly how I wanted this to come out, but I'm committed to finishing every painting I start, even if it goes in the garbage can afterwards.

Not exactly how I wanted this to come out, but I’m committed to finishing every painting I start, even if it goes in the garbage can afterwards.

And this is the poem I think of when I think of flowers:

 I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

 I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze

Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

~William Wordsworth, 1804

Bean Pat Birding Thailand http://tinyurl.com/ksl9p4v Some armchair birding for species not you won’t see unless you travel. There are nearly 10,000 bird species worldwide, of which not quite 1,000 can be found in North America. I would truly like to see all 10,000 in person, but since I can’t this is the second best way to go birding.

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A white=breasted nuthatch defying gravity. -- Wikimedia photo

A white=breasted nuthatch defying gravity. — Wikimedia photo

             “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates

From Mother Nature

Recently I watched a white-breasted nuthatch walk up and down a tree trunk. Its antics, for some unknown reason, brought to mind my tree-climbing antics when I young and nimble.  My favorite tree was a large chinaberry that grew in my grandmother’s untamed backyard. The tree stood at the rear of her property, just in front of a huge field of wild blackberries that I collected each year.

I wonder what nuthatches think about hen they are watching people? Don't you.  -- Wikimedia photo

I wonder what nuthatches think about when they are watching people? Don’t you? — Wikimedia photo

There was a large rock beneath that tree, which I used as a first step to get high up in the tree. When the leaves were in full bloom, I would hide from the world, and dream of being a circus acrobat.

I especially enjoyed collecting the tree’s hard, green pea-size berries, as they were excellent ammunition for the nightly neighborhood kid skirmishes when sides were chosen and war was initiated.

Then one day, I discovered a large rattlesnake coiled on the rock I used to boost myself up into the branches of that tree. We both scurried away. The snake was most likely as afraid of me as I had been of it. But I never climbed that tree again.

These berries from a chinaberry tree were often the ammunition for neighborhood kid skirmishes when the fireflies came out at night. I would hide behind something and throw out a handful when an unsuspecting victim passed by, usually the pesky boy next door, .

These berries from a chinaberry tree were often the ammunition for neighborhood kid skirmishes when the fireflies came out at night. I would hide behind something and throw out a handful when an unsuspecting victim passed by, usually the pesky boy next door, .

Now, many, many years later, as I watched the nuthatch defy gravity as it walked up and down the tree trunk, I thought about how fear paralyzes people from enjoying life. My bone-chilling meeting with that long-ago snake had deprived me of a favorite pastime.

But, thankfully, time taught me to fear the snake when it was where I would place my foot, but not to fear it when it wasn’t there. It was a well-learned lesson that gave me many years of freedom in the outdoors and the courage to face the unknown unafraid.

I wonder if that old chinaberry tree still exists, and if a nuthatch ever played in it? (more…)

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            “The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.” — Aristotle

Desert morning. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Desert morning. — Photo by Pat Bean

And This Morning It was My Turn

I have a new car that has less than 6,000 miles on it. So you know how unhappy I was Saturday, given that it’s August and I live in the desert, when Cayenne’s air conditioning stopped working while I was out running errands.

Cayenne's air conditioner isn't working. Sh-ee-it! -- Photo by Pat Bean

Cayenne’s air conditioner isn’t working. Sh-ee-it! — Photo by Pat Bean

After getting back home, and taking a shower to cool off, I called and got an appointment to get it fixed. That was Saturday, and the guy I talked with, told me Tuesday, and to be at the dealer’s at 7:45 a.m. so I could catch the 8 a.m. shuttle back to my apartment..

The first thing the service guy told me when I got there this morning was that he expected me yesterday. I said I was told Tuesday. He then said he would try to get to my vehicle fixed today.

Grrrrrrrr!

Then when I went in to catch the 8 o’clock shuttle, I discovered that there was no 8 a.m. shuttle. It was a 7:30 a.m. shuttle and another one wouldn’t leave until 9 a.m.

That brought me to the final blip on my morning. I had left home without a book, a rare happening, and there was no reading material in the waiting area.

I’m afraid I uttered the S word. But then maybe that’s OK. Aristotle said “the ideal man” and not “the ideal woman.”

 

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: Blaise and John Clement http://tinyurl.com/mpwj2fn What’s a cozy mystery? I’m a fan of this mother and son, and have read all eight of the first in the series.  I like cozies, whatever they are.

 

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“Oh, I want what we all want: a comfortable couch, a nice beverage, a weekend of no distractions, a book that will stop time, lift me out of my quotidian existence and alter my thinking forever.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

There's noting better than a nice walk through a scenic landscape, such as this boardwalk loop at Point Pelee National Park in Canada. Some of my best ideas come to me on such walks. --  Photo by Pat Bean

There’s noting better than a nice walk through a scenic landscape, such as this boardwalk loop at Point Pelee National Park in Canada. Some of my best ideas come to me on such walks. — Photo by Pat Bean

Or Perspiration?

            I’m always being asked where I get my blogging ideas. A good answer would be everywhere.

Or how about this boardwalk trail outside of Galveston. It, too, would make for a good idea walk. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Or how about this boardwalk trail outside of Galveston. It, too, would make for a good idea walk. — Photo by Pat Bean

But I have noticed that they mostly come when I’m sitting still, perhaps drinking my morning coffee on my balcony, staring out at Mount Lemmon as the day comes to life, or when I’m soaking in my bathtub, thinking of nothing much but shaving my legs.

I also get ideas in my dreams at night – but unless I write these down immediately, they disappear before I sit down to drink that first cup of coffee.

The funny thing is that when I do sit down in front of my computer – the perspiration of writing – to put an idea into words, it’s not unusual for a slew of other ideas, usually better ones, to take over my writing fingers.

So I guess the best answer to where my ideas come from is my butt – when it sits itself down to write. I guess that’s why “Butt to Chair” is the No. 1 writing tip of all times.          

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

  Bean Pat: Zen Pencils http://tinyurl.com/mq5lqdp  Funny cartoon with great message. I loved it.

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            “I love playing. The keyboard is my journal” – Pharrell Williams

            “I think the word ‘blog’ is an ugly word. I just don’t know why people can’t use the word ‘journal.’” — Moby

Should I write about the butterflies I saw at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix for my blog or my journal? Does it matter. Does anyone care? -- Photo by Pat Bean

Should I write about the butterflies I saw at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix for my blog or my journal? Does it matter. Does anyone care? — Photo by Pat Bean

What Do You Think?

            I’m reading Dinty Moore’s book, “Crafting the Personal Essay.” It’s good. Really good! I’ve been reading a chapter every morning with my coffee – and taking lots of notes.

Mother Nature's wonders, I believe, are meant to be shared with the world. So I guess that means they belong in a blog and not a private journal. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Mother Nature’s wonders, I believe, are meant to be shared with the world. So I guess that means they belong in a blog and not a private journal. — Photo by Pat Bean

This morning’s session, however, cost me.

Dinty thinks it is important to write things readers might care about and be interested in reading; and I realized that what I had written didn’t sound interesting – even to me. Well, except for the quotes, which I do find thought-provoking.

My first draft of this blog, however, was taking too many words to say simply that. Thankfully, I have learned that the delete key is often the best editor.

As for the difference between blogging and journaling, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the audience.  My journal is for my eyes only, and my blog is for the entire world to read. And I hope they do.           

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat Are Blogs the New Journal? http://tinyurl.com/mu6lelo This was my inspiration for today’s blog, but the subject matter is one I have pondered now for over a year.

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To really ask is to open the door to the whirlwind. The answer may annihilate the question and the questioner.” —Anne Rice

And Way Too Many Answers

What bird is this. Thankfully, a question I can answer. It's a black-crowned night heron. -- Photo by Pat Bean

What bird is this? Thankfully, a question I can answer. It’s a black-crowned night heron. — Photo by Pat Bean

            Hermione in the Harry Potter series reminds me of my young self, although I was never cute. I was a skinny, freckle-faced brat with unkempt hair. But like Hermione, I knew the answers to all the questions, and my hand was always up when one was asked – unless I forgot to raise my hand and just blurted out the answer.

Is Antelope Canyon in Arizona  a slot canyon, a wash.  an arroyo, or a gulch or all of the above. See. Some questions aren't easy to answer.

Is Antelope Canyon in Arizona a slot canyon, a wash. an arroyo, or a gulch or all of the above. See. Some questions aren’t easy to answer.

The questions back then, however, were easy. What is 12 plus 12? Who is known as the Father of our Country?  What year did Columbus discover America? Of course that was back before I realized America had been discovered long before Columbus set foot upon its land.

My brain, until I hit my 30s, was full of facts and all the right answers. OK, I admit, I’m a late bloomer.

But once I started questioning the answers, I quickly went from being a know-it-all to quite confused.  I became a wonderer, full of questions that seldom had just one answer, and sometimes even no answers.

Why don’t we learn from history? Which is the right path to take?  Is it better to protect the environment or provide jobs so people can feed their children? New questions pop into my head daily. Dang it!

I suspect I’m still going to be asking questions on my death bed. But isn’t it interesting how one can go from being a know-it-all to a know-nothing. Logically, it seems it should be the other way around.           

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

   Bean Pat: Ghost Bear Photography http://tinyurl.com/ohvthc8 If you like wildlife and wilderness you will love this blog. Today it’s simply a quote that speaks to me, and a fantastic view of the Tetons.

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